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tv   BBC World News  PBS  March 22, 2011 12:30am-1:00am PDT

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>> this is "bbc world news." funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, union bank. ♪ >> union bank has put its financial strength to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you?
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>> and now, "bbc world news." >> tripoli, a third night of bombing by coalition forces. president obama says the coalition forces are weakening. >> the truth is that colonel gaddafi's forces have not gone away, and the cease-fire declared appears meaningless. >> as the debates over the aims of the operation intensify, president obama says the libyan leader has to go. >> welcome to "bbc news," broadcasting to our viewers in the u.k. and around the world. coming up, protests in yemen gather pace, but the president refuses to step down despite a number of high profile defections. >> as they work to restore power to japan's stricken
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nuclear power plant continue, radiation detected in sea water and food supplies. >> hello, there. explosions and anti-aircraft fire have been heard near colonel gaddafi's headquarters as they enforce the no-fly zone for a third night. the libyan leader is not being targeted and they insist that the campaign is aimed as protecting libyan civilians. here is our latest on the aleyed assault. >> from the ground you cannot tell what is being hit, but you hear the impact of the missile strikes and the distant rurmble of the blasts. what you see is the libyan response, anti-aircraft fire aiming at aircraft that are too high or mifles that are too
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fast to be vulnerable. a government spokesman warned that all this would plunge yet another arab country into bloody civil war. >> we are expect can't to see death on the ground and bombs in the streets of tripoli. it is the story of baghdad being played again in tripoli. >> last night war came to colonel gaddafi's compound. a missile strike turned a three-story building to rubble. the alleys said it was a command and control facility. libyans said it had no military purpose. hundreds were camping there tonight, saying they were ready to die with the leader they loved. some brought their children. some said it missed the voluntary human shield by 50 meters. the labian government wants to persuade the world that the air strikes have nothing to do with
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protecting civilians and instead aimed at the government. they hope it will under mine support for the air strikes in parts of the world where there are already grave reservations. it is impossible to know what the bombing is having on popular sentiment. only those loyal to the regime voice their opinions. alan little, "bbc news," tripoli. >> colonel gaddafi's forces are continuing to fight in eastern libya despite declaring another cease-fire and coming under attack from aleyed aircraft. there have been clashes from the strongholds in several cities. here is our report on their progress. >> this road bears witness to
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the devastating firepower of the coalition. mile after mile. they have come to antawn ben gauze, the cradle of what they call the revolution here. the coalition says all this is not about regime change. but what happened probably saved bengazi in the least, and it handed that most crucial of things to the opposition, momentum. today the debris has become a site for war tourism. families flock out of the city to revel in the wreckage. jubilant and optimistic not just that they are safe, but they have some very powerful friends on their side. >> this road is littered with debris like this. a number of tanks and military vehicles have been hit we believe by french fighter jets
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operating in the early start of this no-fly zone. of course this gives succor to the rebels and the revolutionary council. but the truth is that gaddafi's forces have not gone away. >> there were reports that colonel gaddafi's forces were retreating. they hadn't. and listen to what happened next. a tang round whistles past, fired by government troops. there was chaos and panic as the militia turned and fled. a number were injured, some killed. this is what colonel gaddafi's cease-fire looks like in the east. and this rag-tag army of the rebellion looks like a poor match even with the help of the west.
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the vision of a united free libya, and every small step is greeted as a victory. if they win, it means not just holding the territory they have and the artery they seized, but it means pushing forward to tripoli. it is not clear that they have the plan or the means to achieve that. "bbc news." >> habul explained what was happening in libya? >> actually, ben-gazi is very quiet this early morning, and everybody is a little bit happy, if i can say, because of the last two days. they felt they were on a very big risk when they had the
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armored vehicles, the military and tanks of the regime, colonel gaddafi's tanks had reached the outskirts of the town and attacked some buildings. later on they retreated by the defense of the revolution of the people. later on, the intervention of the french air force, and now everybody is looking to liberate libya and return the cities again, towards tripoli. >> you say that you were helped by international forces some two days ago. explain to us how, and also how you feel about their intervention? >> everybody believes now that the united nations resolution to protect civilians has been
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acted on here. everybody is looking now to do the same for the two other cities. yesterday a lot of people were contacted by telephone calls begging the united nations to do the same for these two cities. they are having attack from the regime by heavy artery and tanks. >> he was speaking to me a little earlier. richard much is a former assistant secretary of state and former ambassador to sir yea and saab rain. he spoke to me earlier from washington and explained what americans think of decisions taken by the obama
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administration when dealing wii the situation in libya? >> with some uncertainty. i think there is confusion in the mind of the public. there is confusion in our congress. the administration, the president has said that within a matter of days, a few days, he will hand any leadership role over to others. who the others are is not clear as of now. the situation as far as the public can tell on the ground is unclear, just how well the rebels are doing and who are the rebels. the one thing is that there is a great distrust of colonel gaddafi and his intentions both towards his own people and towards the world in general, his opponents at this critical time. >> do you think the u.s. has
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become involved in an operation overseas without perhaps having an agreed identifiable end game or perhaps a clear strategy for delivery of perhaps protecting the libyan people that is so talks about? >> i'm afraid that is the fact. gaddafi's rhetoric was savage, going to purse them home to home, room to room annex terminate -- and exterminate the traitors. he is known as a man who can be merciless. is he truly genocidal? that is another question. but we are engaged now in a campaign which will only really end with him going from power, however that comes about. >> do you think that means that perhaps the likelihood of u.s. troops on the ground may occur?
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>> well, that is absolutely ruled out at this point in time by the administration, and it is really not in the mandate from the scurnl -- security council. i think libyan history guarantees a generally negative reaction of foreign forces in their land. >> but do you think that may be the long-term effect of what we are seeing happen at the moment? >> i hope not. i am reduced to talking in hopes at this point in time. my hope is that the regular libyan military will not want to see their equipment and facilities destroyed as they can be destroyed by air power and that the rebel forces will show much more discipline, much more training, much more
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capability than they have shown to date. it is in the hands of the libyans in that sense, the military situation. the outsiders are going to be able to do only so much. >> richard much speaking to me a little earlier. you can get that interview by visiting the "bbc news" website and more on the situation in libya. there are pages of analysis about what is going on, detailed maps of the conflict, and a live page to keep you right up to date with all the breaking news coming out of libya, and twitter feeds as well. just click on the live link. >> here the british parliament has overwholingly endorsed the commitment of british forces to the international military action in libya. 557 voted for with 13 against. david cameron told m.p.'s have
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acted just in time to stop a massive killing in the city. he said it was only to enforce the united nations resolution. the announcement was made by the speaker. >> the ayes to the right, 557. the no's to the left, 13. so the ayes have it. the ayes have it. >> we explain the debate exposed serious concerns on all sides about the british government's war aims and their exit strategy. >> there was cross party support for the government's involvement in libya and certainly for the u.n. resolution that was agreed. if you look at the numbers, it is a very simple question. if you look at some of the speeches made in the house of commons, the situation is more complex. several m.p.'s expressing
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rather serious reservations about how britain will get itself back out of this conflict, and what the so-called end game might be, what the aim of the conflict may be and the cost. not all of the answers were given in full, but think they have done two things tonight. one, they have given their support to a conflict that they agree with the prime minister that it is necessary and it has the appropriate legal backing and there is a cause to do it now. but secondly they have raised a great deal concerns which i am sure they will build on in the coming weeks and months. >> our political correspondent speaking to us a little earlier. >> you are watching "bbc news." good to have you with us. the headlines this hour. there have been explosions and heavy anti-aircraft fire in the libyan capital of tripoli for a third night. coalition attacks have checked
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the advance of libyan forces in the east, prompting celebrations by the opposition. in yemen, protests against president ali mohsen al-ahmar after several top officialed -- officials. the national defense council has said the army will resist any plot to tple him. >> cheering in. yemeni capital. after weeks of demonstrations, there is a sell -- celebratory atmosphere. >> the of the government in yemen will be just like what happened in egypt, he says. over the weeks, officials and leaders have been joining these crowds. now several military officers have come into the square to publicly show their support.
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>> i announce my joining of the revolution in order to bring down the corrupt dictatorial regime. >> we will finish the rove lution for yemen and its noble demands. >> the killings on friday of more than 50 protestors has upped the stakes. for many, that crossed the line to the unacceptable. soldiers have taken up lines across the city, at the presidential palace and other buildings, but it wasn't certain what their orders were. >> on behalf of officers and commanders in the armed forces, i declare our peaceful support of the youth revolution and their demands that we will fulfill our duties in maintaining security and stability in the capital and other cities. >> but a differing voice from behind another big office desk.
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the defense minister pledging his support for the beleaguered president. yemen is one of the poorest countries in the arab world, with almost have of its 24 million people living below the poverty line. much is remote, and many communities are out of government control. al qaeda operates from here, and american efficiency have described yemen as being close to a failed state. here is an american ally and a dictatorship whose failure to win the trust of the people has for you spilled on to the street with impact that could reach beyond yemen itself. "bbc news." >> workers at the stricken fukushima nuke plant in japan has resumed their efforts to rescore electrical power and cool its react tors. the work was halted after emissions of white smoke and
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vapor from two of the reactors. they said there was a preseason rise in radiation levels at the plant. they now appear to be stabilizing. in this town, many of the children were in school when the tsunami struck. that he survived, but their parents are missing. here is the report. >> when the sea has taken all you know, how do you comprehend it? every landmark obliterated. even finding where his home stood isn't easy for this 12-year-old. >> this is the first time he has been back. but house number three on his street, there is just a void there. >> my desk was up there. my bed was over here. and this is where my book shelf was. >> this is all his sister
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found, her school bag. she used it for trips to the beach with her father. >> because we live near the sea, i could play there. i would go with dad. it was fun. when the tsunami came, it was scary, but i like living by the sea. >> her father is missing. he was a rescue worker directing people to safety while his wife and children fled. 500 bodies have been found here so far, but not his. when the tsunami struck at 2:45 that friday, most of the adults were here in the middle of town. this is a place of 26,000 people. it is hard to believe it now, but you have to imagine shops and offices, supermarkets and restaurants, all busy. the children were in schools, and those are built on higher ground to protect them from tsunamis, and most of them
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survived. >> the high school, their place of refuge, is now full of children who are grieving. this has become their temporary home. >> i wish more people were searching for the missing. i hope we will find dad alive and well soon. he is a very important member of my family, and i love him a lot. >> in the debris, they discovered something else, a photo of their father. >> he was a very good man, her mother says, describing him as the pillar of our family. she went to the morgue today but still couldn't find his
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body. "bbc news," japan. >> well, the chief of the japanese cabinet, says the danger farrah the current levels of radiation is minimal. >> assuming a person stands in the area with the highest level, 120 mark barton will be the -- mcarthur -- would be the exposure. >> let's get the latest fa japan with our correspondent. we hear, chris, the response from japan's government saying that the radiation level levels are minimal. yet today the iaea reiterated that the plant remains serious. what is the latest you are hearing? >> i think this set-back they
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have had in their efforts to cool the plant over the last 24 hours is evidence of what the iaea is saying. the smoke and steam rising from the plant, steam sill rising from the plant after several hours. the chief cabinet secretary in that briefing admitting they don't really know what is causing that steam. they are sending back the workers into the plant again to carry on working on the reactors because the radiation levels ares stable. but they can't tell what is going on inside the row actors because they haven't got the monitoring devices up and running. so it is really very difficult for them to know exactly what kind of risk the workers are facing. that is why the iaea is still very concerned about the situation. >> what more do we know about the information we are getting that perhaps sea water and food has always been contaminated in -- also been tam natured in the area? >> the chief secretary of the cabinet was clear about this.
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he said yes, contamination of sea water has been found, but it is in very small amounts. he said the analysis and monitoring would continue. he said it was inconceivable at this time that they would consider stopping the shipments of marine products. as regards to the other foodstuffs, we haven't had any update so far about problems of contamination. the situation remains that the government is asking people in the places where contamination has been found, in levy green vegetables and -- leafy green vegetables and milk, not to ship to market. japan's neighbors are very worried about this, and they have all stepped up their checks on radiation of japanese products at their words. >> we saw david's report earlier about the devastation and those scenes that we have seen across north japan.
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how are people feeling now when very much the focus remains on the clear-up operation as opposed to rescue operation? >> well, i think the focus for a lot of people is where are we going to live, and what are we going to do in the months ahead? there are more than 350,000 people who are still in evacuation centers. so the priority for them at the moment is trying to work out where are they going to go next. what the government is doing is they have started looking at sites where they can rebuild -- or rather they can build temporary homes. they are talking to local governments in other parts of the country look for public housing. that is just the first stage, getting a roof over their head. a lot of these people are elderly people, and they are going to be wondering how are they going to continue with their lives in the months ahead. >> chris, thank you for the update. he is in tokyo there. >> troops have been employed in
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a syrian city after four days of demonstrations. so far, six people have died in clashes with security forces, including an 11-year-old boy. soldiers have been deployed at the entrances to the city. 17 people, including seven children have been injured by israeli air attacks on the gaza strip. they follow mortar attacks by hamas. it is one of the heaviest air strikes since israeli's offensive against gaza two years ago. the u.s. government has approved the first plan for deep water oil and gas exploration in the gulf of mexico since the deepwater horizon disaster last year. officials said a plan by shell oil company met strict new environmental and safety standards. however, the company still needs to obtain a further permanent for drilling before beginning drilling in the area.
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>> explosions and anti-aircraft fire has been heard. >> see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the expert reporting of news online. >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, union bank. ♪ >> union bank has put its
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global expertise to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news" was presented by kcet, los angeles.
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